chapter  1
17 Pages

COLLECTIVE MEMORY AS AFFIRMATION: People-centered cultural heritage in a digital age

Over the last 15 years, the character of the public administration of cultural heritage – long based on rigid standards of authenticity and monumentality – has undergone a far-reaching change (Araoz 2011). As most powerfully expressed by the 2003 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Convention for Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage, intangible cultural heritage and, by extension, all of cultural heritage, is ‘constantly recreated by communities and groups in response to their environment, their interaction with nature and their history, and provides them with a sense of identity and continuity’ (UNESCO 2003). This wholehearted acceptance of re-creation and adaptation as essential aspects of heritage significance places a new emphasis on process rather than product, thus opening up exciting new potential for digital technologies as facilitators of peoplecentered cultural heritage.